I wrote in a recent post that I decided to continue reading the Game of Thrones series, which I had long since abandoned. I read the first three books in 2012 and just couldn’t get myself motivated to trudge through the fourth book, while my husband zoomed past me and gobbled down all five books that summer. He and I are both obsessive people, but I think he wins the prize for being the more obsessive one!
I knew that shocking things were happening – he would gasp and sigh and look at me as though he had lost a puppy – but he wouldn’t tell me a dang thing about what was going on! I kept telling him, I think I’m done, I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore, please tell me what’s going on! but he wouldn’t cave and tell me anything, just in case I changed my mind about reading the series.
Throughout the last seasons on HBO, my husband has become increasingly frustrated with the directions the stories are going. According to him, some of the story lines are WAY off and they are leaving out tons of characters. Well, of course they are – there are so many characters in the novels that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with.
And because they are now on the sixth season and some story lines will be going beyond what has been published, my husband put his foot down and decided that he would not be watching the sixth season. And I can’t imagine that he’s the only one.
But, of course, this annoyed me. I thought it was ridiculously childish – besides, if the story lines are already so different, would they really be spoiling the unpublished work? You still have to read the novels to find out Martin’s real plan anyway, right?
So I started watching the sixth season while my husband was at work. After the first episode of the season, I was so interested in the Sansa story line, but knew that it wasn’t exactly like the books. That’s when I started thinking that I might just want to pick up the books again. Then, after the second episode, the Bran story line piqued my interest – what the heck was going on?? I even texted my husband, “WTH??” But he refused to have any conversations with me about what was going on with the television version because he was worried that something might be spoiled for him… And because I wasn’t getting the information that I so desperately needed, I pulled out my kindle that night and starting reading the fourth book.
I decided that I would continue reading and watch the show at the same time, but by the time I made it to the fourth episode, it was difficult for me to remember what I had read and what I had watched — the story lines were so tangled that I couldn’t distinguish the Martin version from the HBO version. And on top of that, headlines were shouting that fifth episode was the saddest one since the Red Wedding. I racked my brain — what have I read that could have been sadder than the Red Wedding?? And that’s when I decided that I couldn’t watch this season. If something in that episode spoiled what I was reading, I was going to be really upset.
I discovered that because I’d put so much effort into getting as far as I did, I don’t want HBO to ruin anything for me — whether it be because the Martin story line is better or I just happen to like the HBO version more. I have easily put 72 hours of my precious reading time into this series… am I really going to ruin that?
So, I’ve decided to resist the temptation to turn on hbo.com every Monday night to catch up on the previous night’s episode. It’s really hard to resist when I see a compelling headline. But then I remind myself that delay of gratification is one of the hallmarks of being an adult. Dammit.